Kathryn A. Hamilton
Ph.D., 1980, University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Cellular Biology & Anatomy
LSU Health Sciences Center
Shreveport, LA 71103-4228
Kathryn Hamilton received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL). She then attended graduate school at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned an M.A. degree in Biology with a focus on invertebrate zoology and a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience with a focus on invertebrate chemical senses. During this time, she also received training in neurophysiology at the University of Southern California, Catalina Marine Laboratory. She continued her studies of invertebrate chemoreception as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitney Laboratory of the University of Florida, under the Direction of Barry Ache. She then moved to Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston to study vertebrate chemoreception under the direction of John Kauer. She also received training in immunohistochemical staining methods at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA).
At Tufts, she was awarded a New Investigator Research Award and later an RO1 research grant from the NIH for studies of central processing of olfaction in the tiger salamander. This lead to appointment as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts. In September, 1989, she moved to LSU, where she was funded by grants from the NIH and Whitehall Foundation. In 2003, she spent a sabbatical leave at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she began to study the mouse olfactory system in collaboration with Matt Ennis and his colleagues. She is currently funded by the NIH (National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders) to continue those studies.
Dr. Hamilton is an active member of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, having served as a session chair, on the Membership and Finance Committees, and as Treasurer. In addition, she is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Neuroscience, Shreveport Chapter of SFN, and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She has also served as an ad-hoc reviewer and review panelist for the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Hamilton’s laboratory studies the structure, function, and plasticity of the olfactory system, with the goal of understanding the mechanisms that permit us to detect and to discriminate such a wide array of odors. Electrophysiological recording methods are used to record patterns of synaptic potentials and action potentials from olfactory bulb neurons. These patterns are related to the excitation of olfactory sensory neurons in the nose by odors, and they appear to play a key role in encoding information about the odors within the brain. Three-dimensional reconstruction, confocal-imaging, and video-imaging methods are also used to examine how subsets of neurons that have different spatial distributions contribute to odor encoding mechanisms within the olfactory bulb.
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- Intracellular recording (patch clamp and sharp electrodes) and extracellular recording
- 3-D reconstruction of single dye-filled neurons
- Immunohistochemical staining methods
- Brightfield, confocal, video, two-photon, and transmission electron microscopy
- Allen, D.M. and K.A. Hamilton. 2000. Ultrastructural identification of synapses between mitral/tufted cell dendrites. Brain Res. 860:170-173.
- Du, J., R.E. Maloney and K.A. Hamilton. 2002. Video-Microscopic Analysis of Dye Coupling in the Salamander Olfactory Bulb. J. Neurosci. Res. 68:385-397.
- Hamilton, K.A. and D. Coppola. (2003) GluR1 distribution is altered in the olfactory bulb following naris occlusion. J Neurobiol. 54:326333
- Hamilton, K.A., M. Ennis, T. Heinbockel, G. Szabó, F. Erdélyi, and A. Hayar (2005) Functional properties of intrinsic inhibitory interneurons in the external plexiform layer of the mouse olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 133:819-829.
- Heinbockel T, KA Hamilton, and M Ennis (2007) Group I metabotropic glutamate Receptors are differentially expressed by two populations of olfactory bulb granule cells. J. Neurophysiol. 97:3136-3141.
- Ennis, M., K.A. Hamilton and A. Hayar (2007) Neurochemistry of the main olfactory system. In Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, 3/e, A. Lajtha (ed.-in-chief), Vol. 20, Sensory Neurochemistry, D. Johnson (ed).
- Hamilton, K.A., S. Parrish-Aungst, F.L. Margolis, F. Erdélyi, G. Szabó, and A.C. Puche (2008) Sensory deafferentation transsynaptically alters neuronal GluR1 expression in the external plexiform layer of the adult mouse main olfactory bulb. Chem. Sens. 33:201-210.
- Dong, H.-W., T. Heinbockel, K.A. Hamilton, A Hayar, and M. Ennis (2009) Metabotropic glutamate receptors and dendrodendritic synapses in the main olfactory bulb. Ann N.Y. Acad. Sci.